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Every physician is familiar with at least a few cases of morphinism. Nearly every physician has made effort to rescue from the addiction its victim, and as a rule has given over the effort as hopeless, because even when the patient has been taken off his drug, he relapsed, or while under treatment he did not have the courage to persevere or the stamina to endure the necessary suffering. The profession as a whole has adopted a cynical attitude toward the possibility of permanent cure and many have relegated to quacks and charlatans the treatment which these poor people seek.
Three lines of endeavor have been employed: so-called slow reduction, sudden withdrawal and withdrawal accompanied by the administration of belladonna or its alkaloids.
"Slow reduction" simply means gradually reducing the patient's accustomed dosage. It is perfectly easy and unnecessarily slow up to the point of minimum organic need. Then must
BISHOP ES. MORPHINISM AND ITS TREATMENT. JAMA. 1912;LVIII(20):1499-1504. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260050175006